Lakewood Ranch district OKs designing Lorraine Road water connection

Rex Jensen
Rex Jensen

Supervisors of the Lakewood Ranch Stewardship District on Friday approved drawing up plans for completing a water line on Lorraine Road south of Schroeder-Manatee Ranch headquarters at 14400 Covenant Way and University Parkway.

The extension would create a new water connection between Manatee County and Sarasota County, where SMR is developing its 2,000-acre Waterside community, previously known as the Villages of Lakewood Ranch South.

The design would help fill a gap in the Lorraine Road water line, engineer Mike Kennedy told supervisors.

Rex Jensen, who chaired the meeting, said the district will complete the design for the connection to get it shovel ready, but will not fund construction.

Several other water lines connect Manatee and Sarasota counties, including along Lakewood Ranch Boulevard, Lockwood Ridge Road and near Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, said Amy Pilson, public affairs liaison for Manatee County Utilities.

Manatee County has long sold water to Sarasota County from its reservoir at Lake Manatee. Sarasota has been reducing its dependence on Manatee County water from a high of up to 14 million gallons a day, to 6 million gallons a day now, Pilson said.

“The district is playing a pivotal role in long-range planning between multiple agencies,” Jensen said.

The Peace River Water Authority and the two counties appreciate the increased connectivity the Lorraine Road water line will provide, Jensen said.

In other business, the district authorized Lombardo, Foley & Kolarik of Palmetto to proceed with the design for extending Rangeland Parkway 3,800 feet to connect with Lorraine Road. Rangeland Parkway starts at Lakewood Ranch Boulevard north of State Road 70.

James A. Jones Jr.: 941-745-7053, @jajones1